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Nat Rev Cancer. 2008 Jan;8(1):11-23.

The anaplastic lymphoma kinase in the pathogenesis of cancer.

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Center for Experimental Research and Medical Studies (CERMS), University of Torino, Via Santena 7, 10126, Italy.


Tyrosine kinases are involved in the pathogenesis of most cancers. However, few tyrosine kinases have been shown to have a well-defined pathogenetic role in lymphomas. The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is the oncogene of most anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL), driving transformation through many molecular mechanisms. In this Review, we will analyse how translocations or deregulated expression of ALK contribute to oncogenesis and how recent genetic or pharmacological tools, aimed at neutralizing its activity, can represent the basis for the design of powerful combination therapies.

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